I recently watched the Martin Lewis show where he was discussing the importance of registering LPAs. Prior to this I had personally registered a Lasting Power of Attorney for my elderly mother.
There has been a substantial increase in the numbers of applications to register Lasting Power of Attorney with the OPG. The general public are becoming more aware that it is important to have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place. A common misconception is that sorting out an LPA only needs to be done when you reach old age. Many people know of a relative with dementia who has their affairs managed by an appointed Attorney. However, there are many conditions where a person may not be able to manage their own affairs and will need someone to act on their behalf. At TSF we often work with younger adults with acquired brain injury, who, after an accident, are suddenly not able to manage their finances or health decisions. None of us know what might be around the corner.
A lot of people are not informed of the importance of registering an LPA and the advantages and risks of doing so. Whilst I would advocate that it is never too early to set up LPAs (both for Property and Financial decisions and for Health and Welfare decisions), careful consideration needs to be given to who you are appointing as your Attorney(s). Many people do not properly consider the implications of giving someone total control over their finance or health decisions, or how their chosen Attorneys may work together, in the event that they lose capacity to make these decisions for themselves.
Choosing the right Attorney is essential: it is of paramount importance that you choose someone that you trust implicitly. Whilst Attorneys are accountable to the OPG and are required to act in the person’s best interests, sometimes, a person can be left feeling dissatisfied with the way that a person is acting for them.
At TSF we are sometimes asked to assess someone’s capacity to revoke an existing LPA, where the client feels that their attorney is not acting in their best interests.
If you want to register an LPA, you can download the forms from the gov.uk website (form LP1F for Property and Affairs and LP1H for Health and Welfare). The forms need to be certified by a Certificate Provider. Where a person’s capacity to make an LPA may be in doubt, it is good practice to ask a registered health care professional to act as Certificate Provider. At TSF Assessments Ltd, our skilled assessors can complete an assessment of capacity to confirm that you are able to make decisions about making an LPA and can act as a Certificate Provider. We would be very pleased to talk to you if you have any questions about the process of making LPAs.